Mecardonia acuminata

A May Neener Perambulation

The human female and Sigyn and dragging me out on another Neener Walk. Didn’t we just go?

My innocent question was met with a mixture of scorn (the human female) and gentle reproof (Sigyn.) Apparently, things happen quickly in late spring, with the early spring flowers winding down and the summer flowers just appearing on the stage. It is therefore some sort of moral imperative that we take the trail down by the LUAs (Large, Ugly Apartments) and make note of what we see.

Oh, well, as long as it’s for science. (insert eye-roll.)

The highlighter-yellow false dandelions have been up forever.

And so has the bur clover.

The human female says it has been a good year for dogshade. It’s in all the ditches. Sigyn says it looks like lace.

Thistles are old hat. Be careful, my love. You are up very high and they are very prickly.

Greenbriar is also nothing new. This one is just about to bloom

The farkleberry has nearly finished flowering. If I didn’t know it was related to blueberries, I’d think it was kin to lily-of-the-valley. The flowers look a little alike.

No, human, don’t bother me with the slanty Latin name or start harping on monocots and dicots. I don’t care, and you know it.

The venus’ looking-glass has been out for a good bit. It’s tall enough that the human has to lift Sigyn up to get a good view.

The daisy fleabane started early this year and is gong strong.

We should take some home with us, Sigyn. The human female has some itchy bites she says are from fire ants, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she actually had fleas…

This cut-leaf evening primrose has yellow flowers which turn orange as they fade.

I suppose that’s mildly interesting.

I remember the dayflowers from previous years. They’re such an alarming color.

Ah. The spiderworts are up. The human female really likes them.

The brown-eyed susans showed up last month.

And so did the tickseed.

Have you noticed, Sigyn, that all of those yellowy orange composites are always EXACTLY the same color? With blue flowers, there is usually some variation in shade, but nope, these are all the same. That can’t be natural… I don’t trust them.

So where is the new stuff? Things we haven’t seen already this year?

All right–the prairie gentians are new. I will give you that.

Sigyn is squeeing! She thinks she has found “an itty bitty teeny tiny one.”

The human female says no, it’s a centaury, and that it’s a cousin of the gentians. That’s right, human. Take all the fun out of my sweetie’s delight with your tiresome pedantry. No wonder you never get invited anywhere.

I don’t remember seeing this before. If I did, I forgot it.

Go on, Sigyn. Ask her what it’s called. Ehehehe! Look at her waffle and stutter! She can’t remember what its name is! She says she always confuses Mecardonia and Lindernia and can’t remember which one has yellow flowers and which one has white. Woman, you are losing it, and we all know it.

What about this yellow one?

It’s on a small little shrub with shreddy bark. The human female is calling it “St. Andrew’s Cross.” What a ridiculous name. I swear she makes this stuff up.

Odin’s eyepatch! I’ve needled the human female enough that she is barking back at me! “Fine,” she is saying, “If you don’t want to learn anything about botany, show me what you are interested in. What did you see this morning that you liked?”

Glad you asked! I thought this mushroom was neat.

Might have to put some in the next batch of spaghetti sauce…

And this. This makes me very happy.

Because it means somewhere, there is an annoying, cute–possibly even squeaky–stuffed animal that has had its puffy guts ripped out.

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Didn’t we do this already? Part I: The Prepwork

Sometimes it is brought home to me just how paltry is my progress in subjugating this planet. Can it be a year already since the last time the human female dragged herself, Sigyn, me, and literal bucketsful of supplies out to the wood for the annual Biology Nerds in the Woods Festival, or whatever it’s called?

Here we are again, some of us protesting volubly.

Apparently there is a lot of preparation necessary. For the human female and her cohorts, that means planning and working up activities for the younglings and coordinating the volunteers. The woods need to be tidied and, I don’t know, the animals combed, and the bugs polished, or something.

On my part, I saw to it that there would be rain. Lots and lots of rain. The sun is out now, and I expect it is going to be wickedly steamy later. The humans will be miserable! The dimples and ditches are filled, the paths are running channels, and all the plants that like it wet are, according to Sigyn, “very, very happy.”

Here. Have a picture of a wet plant.


Don’t ask me what its name is. I don’t care.

The human female plans to lay out a self-guided plant trail, labeling the wildflowers and trees with their common and sciencey names. Sigyn has leapt to help her. It will take them hours to place hundreds of painstakingly handwritten flags.


It will take me about thirty seconds to swap all the names around once they’re done. “Bluebonnets” will go on the red flowers, and the “Stop and smell the sweet clover” will go on the nettles. The “Come this way” flag is going to lead all the visitors through the deepest puddle I can find.

I’ve also arranged for a prodigious hatching of mosquitoes and sweat-flies. Let the good times begin!

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